North East Scotland Big Adventures by Mountain Bike or Road Cycle

Cycling has long been a popular sport and leisure activity. The sport officially began on May 31, 1868, with a 1,200-metre (1,312-yard) race between the fountains and the entrance of Saint-Cloud Park (near Paris). The winner was James Moore, an 18-year-old expatriate Englishman from Paris.

Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire hosted the final stage of the 2021 Tour of Britain in September, which marked the furthest north the tour has ever visited. The area will also play host to the opening stage of 2022 event when it will welcome many competitors to this exciting 8 day cycling event!


Cycling is a very popular past time and growing sport in the area. The region offers many opportunities for enjoying the great outdoors, from simple easy routes for families to thrill seeking and the adrenaline rush if that’s what you are looking for

Aberdeenshire is right up there with the best riding locations – running from the eastern Cairngorms to the sea via amazing valleys and ancient forest offering skills parks and big mountain epics, race worthy enduro trails and leg burning cross country epics, mellow little loops and bikepacking epics – in short, something to suit every rider!

2022 Tour of Britain Sunday 4th September

The Tour of Britain, the UK’s most prestigious cycle race, takes place between Sunday 4 – 12 September 2022 and will be the 18th edition of the UK’s biggest bike race,
From Aberdeen to the Isle of Wight over an eight-day route that measures 1320 kilometres and features nearly 20,000m of climbing!

Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire will host the opening of the 2022 Tour of Britain on Sunday 4th September. Stage 1 of the competition will be Aberdeen to Glenshee Ski Centre near Braemar in the Cairngorms National Park.

Not only will this stage feature an entirely new route compared to last year’s finale in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, it will also include the first-ever opening day summit finish in modern race history. The Old Military Road climb from Auchallater to Glenshee Ski Centre measures 9.1 kilometres long, with the final five kilometres averaging a gradient of 4.8%.

Thrive Bike - Mountain Bike Festival 23rd - 25th September

Thrive Bike is a long weekend of energy, excitement and entertainment based in Ballater, Royal Deeside. An action packed event for bikers, non-bikers and the family! Thrive Bike offers a range of activities. Profits from the event will be invested into the local trail network.

Over the weekend you can demo new bikes from top brands, go on guided rides, navigate around the Dash ride or choose from one of the Thrive Bike road events. You can also learn how to improve your health and wellness from a range of coaches. 

Which Cycling Trail...

Aberdeen & Aberdeenshire

The Deeside Way route follows the line of the Old Royal Deeside Railway from Aberdeen to Ballater, total distance 41 miles. Most of the route is off road with gradual gradients making for easy going particularly suitable for family cycling although there are some short steeper sections giving more of a challenge. 

The Formartine and Buchan Way is a safe, long distance shared cycle path suitable for cyclists of all ability. It starts at Dyce Railway station, and continues for 25 miles through  Aberdeenshire to Maud where it divides. North – 15 miles goes to Fraserburgh, whilst East – 13 miles takes you to Peterhead. The cycle route is entirely off road, and is built on the former Formartine and Buchan railway route. The Buchan Way, as it is commonly known, takes you past many places of local historical interest and make ideal rest stops.

Moray and Speyside

With many miles of quiet country roads and paths and trails, Moray offers tailor-made routes for cyclists of all ages and abilities. The Speyside Way long distance footpath has some section that can be cycled, but throughout Moray there are ample opportunities for people to get out and about on their bikes. A number of trails have also been created for mountain biking enthusiasts. Check out the following Bike Glenlivet and Moray Monster Trails For further details of paths and trail read more HERE

Cairngorms National Park

Cycling and biking in and around the Cairngorms National Park is one of the best ways to explore and discover the sights, nature and wildlife in the Park. With something for everyone from gentle family rides to testing mountain trails. It has a wealth of paths and trails and has four mountain bike centres Glenlivet, Laggan, the Lecht, and Tarland. Why not explore with Ride in Peace Adventures or Eguide Scotland.


Has many popular cycle routes which allows you to experience the heart of Angus on two wheels. Follow the cycling and mountain bike trails through Angus, taking in the panoramic views and scenery which stretch for miles. The routes also highlight places to stop for a well earned rest and affa fine piece! Learn more HERE

Northern Perthshire

Cycling combines physical exercise with being outdoors & exploring new views around local estates such as Atholl Estate With dozens of waymarked walks & paths to suit everyone. Over 90 routes to choose from so if you want some inspiration whilst visiting then check out more trails HERE

Other Useful Info :

Thrive Bike Festival 23rd – 25th September.

Cycle Aberdeenshire 22nd August – 4th September.

The GetAbout Aberdeen Cycling Festival 3rd – 4th September in Aberdeen

Off-Road Cycling: good practice advice read more HERE

Find a route on the National Cycle Network HERE

The Northern Highlights Pass helps you to create a bespoke itinerary for your short break or longer Scottish holiday in the North East of Scotland.  Purchasing a Northern Highlights Pass offers savings on entrance fees or activity charges to several excellent visitor attractions and experiences in the region. 

Your Northern Highlights Pass is available as a digital pass and can be easily downloaded straight onto your smart phone. Alternatively, you can purchase a hard copy pass and this will be mailed out to you.

A Pass is valid until 31.12.22

Please remember to follow...

So if you are interested to know more, remember to follow us on the Northern Highlights Pass social channels and also sign up to the “North East Blether” if you have not already done so. 

Ready to start exploring? Northern Highlights visitors pass enables you to visit some of the best – for less. Buy your pass and start your adventure!

So whatever you choose to do in the next few weeks and months please do remember to stay safe and continue to follow the Guidance To Protect The Environment, yourself and all our local communities.

#RespectProtectEnjoy #StopBreatheGo #MajesticABDN #CairngormsTogether

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